The Hardship Fund – Good things coming from great change

The current challenges presented by COVID-19, remind us of St Catherine’s enduring history and a time of upheaval experienced as the Second World War edged closer to the shores of Australia.

On 24 March, 1942, over 200 St Catherine’s girls left the relative comfort and security of Heyington Place to live on a temporary campus in Warburton. At the time, the Defence Force acquired residence of Sherren House and our students were given two weeks to prepare before leaving. Until then, the girls had led very sheltered lives and hardship was not a lived experience.

While undoubtedly a challenging school year, this experience imbued a spirit that has engendered over many years. Our ethos embraces the notion of resilience and our history is steeped in a tradition of strong and empowered women dedicated to education, and the capacity to lead by example.

Today as we once again face an uncertainty not previously experienced before, we are encouraged to adapt, explore new approaches, embrace windows of opportunity and consider what really matters, for this is the very thread that binds us.

One of our School’s strongest and most positive responses to current disruption is the establishment of the St Catherine’s Hardship Fund.

Supported by the work of the Foundation Board, leading investment by the School and the generosity of a collective of donors, the St Catherine’s Hardship Fund will enable the School to provide financial assistance to any families who have been impacted by the global health crisis and the economic fallout beyond COVID-19.

As the world faces significant challenges in addressing the immediate and longer-term effects of the pandemic, the commitment of our St Catherine’s community in supporting families to continue to receive a St Catherine’s education should provide us all with a great sense of hope.

The Hardship Fund will remain the legacy of this time, providing hardship support well into the future and epitomising the Blue Ribbon spirit in action.

We remain always inspired by a history built on a solid foundation of community, formed through lasting friendships and preserved by the undeniable St Catherine’s quality of kindness towards each other.

Once again, we will shape our history, our story, by revealing a community prepared to assemble and, much like the courageous St Catherine’s women during World War II, positively impact life long after COVID-19 has faded into memory.

Any community member interested in finding out more about giving to the St Catherine’s Hardship Fund should contact the Advancement Office at

Jacqueline Williams

Director of Advancement

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